God is looking for some good men and women: are you one of them?
Years ago, the Marine Corps had a slogan that said, “We’re looking for some good men.” The concept behind the ad campaign was obvious: Not everyone can be a Marine. Training and homework are tough. Anyone who wants to serve in the Marine Corps has to be some kind of tough individualist, willing to take orders, who also works and gets along with others. These same attributes can be applied to people who want to serve God.
Our Heavenly Father has always looked for men and women who are willing to serve him. The sad truth is that he has not always found them. In the Old Testament biblical book of Ezekiel, chapter 22 and verses 23-31, the King James Bible says, “And the word of the Lord came to me, saying, Son of man, say to him, Thou art the land that is not cleansed nor rain on the day of wrath. There is a conspiracy of her prophets in her midst, like a roaring lion that snatches prey; they devoured souls, they seized treasure and precious things; they made her many widows in her midst. The priests have violated my law, and have profaned my holy things, they have made no difference between what is holy and what is profane, and have made no difference between what is unclean and what is clean, and have hid their eyes from my sabbaths, and I am profaned among them. among them they are like ravening wolves, to shed blood and destroy souls, for dishonest gain. And their prophets have covered them with loose mud, seeing vanity, and divined lies, saying, T this one knows the Lord GOD, when the LORD does not speak. The people of the earth have used oppression, and exercised robbery, and have afflicted the poor and the needy; yes, they have unjustly oppressed the foreigner. And I looked for a man among them who would make a wall and stand in the gap before me for the land, so that I would not destroy it; but I didn’t find it. Therefore I have poured out my wrath on them; I have consumed them with the fire of my anger; I have paid his way on his head, says the Lord GOD.
The twenty-second chapter of Ezekiel is devoted primarily to explaining Jerusalem’s sins, the results of those acts, and God’s punishment for them. It’s a very sad progression of events. The problem begins when the prophets who are supposed to be serving God serve themselves. They do not follow or obey his law. This disobedience soon infected the priests. They also begin to ignore God’s law to the point where people are no longer told what is right and what is wrong. Like many churches today, they create a kind of “do what you want” religion that ignores many biblical teachings and warnings to the local church and the body of believers as a whole.
The corrupt circle is complete when the leaders of the people, having been deceived by the prophets and priests, also begin to go their own ways. They oppress the people to enrich themselves. The poor and foreigners become his easiest targets and the most vulnerable victims of his betrayal. It is amazing to see that God still wants to make things right in the midst of all these bad deeds. All he needs is someone who is willing to “stand in the gap before me for the land.” Unfortunately, he does not find that person.
God was looking for a person who would tell the people the truth based on the laws he gave them. In reality, it was just a simple matter of obedience, but no one wanted to step forward and risk being rejected or punished by those who were not willing to serve God in the way that he taught them. They all just decided to “go with the flow” and not rock the boat. The results were tragic and progressive. The prophets and priests continued to lie, while the leaders of the people continued to oppress them. God turned their own lies and wickedness against them and allowed his enemies to defeat them.
Today we also see a sad progression of events based on the disobedience of those who claim to speak for God. Many Christian pastors, evangelists, teachers, and church leaders have turned from God’s word to false teachings. For example, they no longer teach or practice the fundamentals of the faith that include the divine nature, the virgin birth, sinless life, substitutionary death, the victorious resurrection, and the visible return of Jesus Christ. They question the inerrancy and inerrancy of the Bible and use corrupted and unreliable versions. They ignore the teaching that people must be born again, confessing their sins to God and accepting Jesus as their Savior. Even some who believe in the second birth deny the biblical teaching that all believers must be active soul winners. The New Testament Bible book of 1 Peter chapter 2 and verse 5 makes this clear in the King James Bible where it says, “You also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house and a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices.” acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.”
Just like the Marines, God is looking for some good men and women to serve. That service begins with your ability to obey the simplest of his teachings. First, you need to become a Christian. If he is not sure that he will go to heaven when he dies, God tells us that he can be sure by accepting Jesus Christ as his Savior. Simply pray to God, admit that he is a sinner and ask Jesus to come into his heart and forgive all his sins. The New Testament Bible book of Romans, chapter 10 and verses 9-10 says in the King James Bible: “If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved, because with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.”
Salvation is the first step. Finding a good church to attend and join is next. That church should be a house of God that believes the Bible and honors Christ. Once you find a home in the church, you will need to be baptized in order to join. The Bible teaches baptism by immersion in water. John the Baptist practiced this method and the Word of God gives us an excellent example in the New Testament biblical book of Acts, chapter 8 and verses 26-39 where the King James Bible says: “And the angel of the Lord spoke to Philip, Saying, Arise, and go south by the way that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza, which is desert.” And he got up and went; he was in charge of all his treasures, and he had come to Jerusalem to worship, and he returned and sat in his chariot read the prophet Isaiah (Isaiah). Then the Spirit said to Philip: Come near and join this chariot. And Philip ran to him, and heard him read the prophet Isaiah, and said: “Do you understand what you read? And he said: How can I, unless some man guide me? And he asked Philip to come up and sit with him. The place of the scripture that he read was this, He was led as a sheep to the slaughter; and as a lamb dumb before its shearer, so he opened not his mouth: In his humiliation his judgment was taken away: and who shall count his generation? because his life is taken from the earth. And the eunuch answered Philip, and said: I pray you, of whom does the prophet speak this? of himself, or of some other man? Then Philip, opening his mouth, and beginning in the same scripture, preached Jesus. And as they went along the way, they came to a certain water; and the eunuch said: Look, here is water; What prevents me from being baptized? And Felipe said: If you believe with all your heart, you can. And answering he said: I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. And he ordered the car to stop; and they both went down into the water, Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him. And when they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord snatched Philip away, so that the eunuch saw him no more, and he went on his way rejoicing.
Once you are a member of the church, you must begin to learn the Word of God. You must do this in two ways. First, by attending services that typically include a mid-week Bible study, Sunday school, and worship service. The pastor and others will teach you the Word. Second, you need to read God’s Word for yourself. Get a King James Version Bible and start with the Bible book of Luke from the New Testament. It is one of the four gospels and is the only one that really explains how John the Baptist and Jesus are related. It also gives us a glimpse into the childhood of Jesus.
Prayer is another important step of obedience that will help you become someone God can use. Pray at least twice a day: when you wake up and just before you go to sleep. Pray for yourself and for others. The New Testament Bible book of Matthew makes it clear that prayer is about asking. In Matthew chapter 7 and verses 7-11, the King James Bible says, “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you; for everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds.” and to him who knocks, it is opened. Or what man is there of you, that if his son asks for bread, will he give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a snake? Then, being evil, you know give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him?
Another important step in serving God is deciding on a title. A ‘tithe’ is ten percent of your income. That may seem like a lot, especially if you don’t make a lot of money. However, God uses that money to finance the local church and allow believers to carry out His Will. He also promises to give back to those who give to him. The Old Testament Bible book of Malachi chapter 3 and verse 10 says in the King James Bible, “Bring all titles into the storehouse, and let there be food in my house, and try me now in this, saith the Lord of hosts, if not I will open the windows of heaven for you, and I will pour out a blessing on you until it overflows.”
God doesn’t ask you to be saved, baptized, go to church, pray, read the Bible or title for his sake, he asks it for your sake! You avoid Hell, grow in faith, and gain confidence in the Lord by doing these things. Just as basic training helps recruits become Marines by developing organizational skills and physical fitness, obedience to God’s Word builds spiritual strength and helps prepare a Christian to better serve the Lord. In return for your obedience, God blesses you, watches over you, and is there for you when you need him most. God is looking for some good men and women. If he is ready to serve you, his marching orders are in the Bible.